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From the battlefield to the bedroom: a multilevel analysis of the links between political conflict and intimate partner violence in Liberia
  1. Jocelyn T D Kelly1,
  2. Elizabeth Colantuoni2,
  3. Courtland Robinson3,
  4. Michele R Decker4
  1. 1 Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2 Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  3. 3 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  4. 4 Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Women’s Health and Rights Program, Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jocelyn T D Kelly; jtdkelly{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objectives Assess the link between levels of armed conflict and postconflict intimate partner violence (IPV) experienced by women in Liberia.

Methods Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project data were used to measure conflict-related fatalities in districts in Liberia during the country’s civil war from 1999 to 2003. These data were linked to individual-level data from the 2007 Demographic and Health Survey, including past-year IPV. Multilevel logistic models accounting for the clustering of women within districts evaluated the relationship of conflict fatalities with postconflict past-year IPV. Additional conflict measures, including conflict events and cumulative years of conflict, were assessed.

Results After adjusting for individual-level characteristics correlated with IPV, residence in a conflict fatality-affected district was associated with a 50% increase in risk of IPV (adjusted OR (aOR): 1.55, 95% CI 1.26 to 1.92). Women living in a district that experienced 4–5 cumulative years of conflict were also more likely to experience IPV (aOR 1.88, 95% CI 1.29 to 2.75).

Conclusion Residing in a conflict-affected district even 5 years after conflict was associated with postconflict IPV.

Policy implications Recognising and preventing postconflict IPV violence is important to support long-term recovery in postconflict settings.

  • public health
  • cross-sectional survey

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Seye Abimbola

  • Contributors JTDK conducted the data analysis, interpreted the results and drafted the manuscript for this research. EC provided detailed guidance on the statistical methods, contributed to interpretation of results and write-up, and gave substantive feedback on the manuscript drafts. WCR provided expertise on conflict and postconflict research, contributed to interpretation of results and write-up, and gave substantive feedback on the manuscript drafts. MRD provided overall guidance and mentorship for this project, contributed to interpretation of results and write-up, and significantly contributed to the drafting and editing of the manuscript.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval Johns Hopkins University exempted this study from full IRB review.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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